Bed rails?

Hi folks, I need some advice, please! My 88-year-old Dad fell out of bed almost two weeks ago and suffered quite a nasty bump on the head from where he hit the bedside drawer unit. My Mum and I called an ambulance immediately and they took him to the hospital. He came home yesterday, but we’re all really concerned about him falling out again.

My parents have a standard double bed, it’s got drawers underneath and a slatted headboard. We were initially told no rails existed for beds, other than purchasing a hospital bed, which isn’t something we can afford or should have to do.

The Carers UK newsletter landed in my email this morning and I saw the link about AskSARA. So after a few clicks, I found myself on the Living Made Easy site and lo and behold, bed rails do indeed exist!

Living Made Easy - Bed rails This shows all of the rails but I’m particularly looking at this one:

Does anyone here have experience with bed rails? I was thinking of something attached to the wall, but that wouldn’t work because of the bedhead, and I don’t think attaching something to the bed head is a good idea, I’m not sure.

Any help or advice would be very welcome! When we eventually got Dad to bed last night, I put his walking frame, the bedside unit and a chair against the side of the bed. I don’t think Mum or I got a lot of sleep as Dad was constantly asking if he was near the edge of the bed. I had to help move him back to the middle around 2am and I know Mum did the same a short time later. I’m not sure how long we can go on like this… :frowning:

When my Mum needed a bed rail we got one like the one you are looking at through our local Occupational Therapists - it was supplied on “permanent” loan so we didn’t have to pay anything.

Only problem was she HATED it - said she felt like she was in a cage ! So eventually it had to go back as there was no way she would use it.

Hi susieq, thanks so much for getting back to me! I’m sorry your Mum didn’t like the rail, did you find something else to take the place of a rail? And, if you don’t mind me asking, even though she hated it, did it work? Did it keep her from falling out and give you peace of mind before you had to send it back?

The hospital should have done a discharge care plan to make sure the incident didn’t occur again, e.g falling out of bed.
And there should have been a home visit before discharge to assess and provide suitable equipment, bed rails or a hospital bed.

A hospital bed can be provided for free, we have a place that provides equipment free so you don’t have to pay.

But like SusieQ says, my caree didn’t want an ugly hunk of metal hospital bed.
Hospital beds aren’t very attractive and bigger than a standard bed so that’s a problem if you have a small bedroom.

An Occupational therapist from the hospital or social services should sort all this out.
There should be a falls team as well in your area to prevent falls out of bed, around the house etc.

Hi Londonbound!

I was just discussing this with my Mum. Unfortunately, no-one came to the home (even though we were told the physios would come out) and no-one has said anything about the falls team. One person Mum did ask said nothing could be done, which I knew wasn’t true. Sending him home was a comedy of errors. We’d sent in his clothes to come home in, but they sent him home in a hospital gown. He’s having trouble walking and transferring from the bed to standing, standing to sitting (and in reverse), getting to and on the stairlift and off again at the top.

We had a care plan in place for care before this, but now he needs more care. They didn’t tell us this until we realised when he came home. The carer who came last night was supposed to be a 30-minute call, she was still here and hour and a half later. It then took my Mum and I over half an hour to get him upstairs and into bed. My Mum is disabled herself so it was a real struggle. No-one told us he had gotten worse and we’re struggling. The carer last night said she would inform the care people today to increase the call time.

There’s no room for a hospital bed and my Mum doesn’t need it for her side of the bed and she flat out refuses one anyway. An OT should be phoning us this afternoon so we’re going to ask about the rail. But of course, it’s needed now, tonight, we’re going to have to put the unit/frame/chair against the bed and have him keep asking us all night if he’s near the edge.

The hospital has let us down badly, he apparently now needs “pads” but they only sent him home with enough til Monday. The relevant team at the hospital aren’t contacting us til next week, we tried calling them today but had to leave a message. Mum is now having to search online and buy a box of pads to get us through. It really doesn’t surprise me how incompetent our local NHS is, it saddens me that so many patients and their families are suffering because of it. My Dad is lucky he has me and my Mum, but I know a lot of others have nobody.

Part of the problem with Mum was that she had dementia but needed the rail following a knee replacement operation - the rail was to help her pull herself up in bed before getting out of bed; but she kept “forgetting” it was there and then couldn’t work out how to lower it and kept trying to climb over it which just wasn’t possible with her knee :open_mouth: So really we sent it back before we were able to assess if it would stop her falling out of bed !

Glad you’ve got the OT phoning today - there are lots of mobility aids that they can supply which would be of great help to your Dad. Everything from indoor walkers to a bath lift and including hand rail, chair risers and a surround for the toilet to make it easier getting on and off the pan ! We had quite a few of these aids - all on permanent loan :slight_smile:

Hope you don’t mind me saying but your Mum sounded like a very adventurous lady :slight_smile: My Aunt had dementia, it came on suddenly and sadly she passed within a few years. I took Mum to see her (it was her sister) a couple of times but it was horrible to see her like that so towards the end I took Mum but stayed outside in the car.

Dad seems really keen on the frame, he wanted to know the measurements and how it works. I ordered that one I linked too, I can’t wait for the OT (they still haven’t called) because they’ll probably say they don’t have one in stock or are unable to supply. They couldn’t even provide a rollator for him, we had to buy that ourselves! We’re lucky we have quite a few hand rails in place because of Mum, and the stairlift was hers to begin with so they share it now. It’s just his movement, he’s so unsteady and seems to have a problem moving his right leg/right foot, we’re assuming that’s something to do with the head injury.

Before he went into hospital it took maybe ten minutes to get him from chair, through the house, stairlift and walk into the bedroom and into bed. Yet over half an hour last night, and in this heat it’s even worse.

This is an absolute DISGRACE!

Ring the hospital asap, ask to speak to the chief executive’s office, and make a formal complaint about an UNSAFE DISCHARGE. Insist that they sort it immediately, or arrange for dad to be admitted to a rehabilitation hospital until such time as he has had a proper assessments and all aids and adaptations have been installed.

You can make this call tomorrow, someone is always ultimately in charge of a hospital.
Also contact the out of hours number for Social Services.


The hospitals do this all the time , discharging patients unsafely, an unsafe discharge, you can look up up on the internet NHS discharge policy.
The hospitals have to do this but often just ignore the rules.
The patient is taking up a bed, costing the hospital money, so send them home quick as possible and ignore the rules.

But this causes a lot of distress for the patient and the familys but as you say what if there is no family, left to sympathetic friends and neighbours.
Myself and my caree used to joke that if the hospital could, it would send patients straight from the operating theatre, into an ambulance and straight home .
Or even better to save the cost of an ambulance straight in the back of a relatives car.
My caree was very unwell, just discharged from hospital, sent home in adult nappys, was given 5 adult nappys, not even a couple of days worth, i had to go down to the local chemist and buy lots of packs.

Thats why I don’t clap for the NHS, the NHS just don’t care.

Regarding extra bits and pieces, hand rails, again the OT should be able to advice, my caree had a big arm/rail by the toilet to hold onto again preventing falls.
We have a handyman service provided by the council, they used to be free but now i think they charge but can do anything around the house, fit extra rails, fix down loose carpets etc again to make it easier, prevent falls etc.

I think you used to be able to get up to £1000 worth of adaptions free, but not sure, try the hospital PALS, Patient Liason or your local carers centre.
Technically as well the hospital should have arranged a carers assessment to help the unpaid carers, you and your mum.

But they just deny it, nothing to do with us, i don’t think its the nurses fault, they just don’t have the time and resources to follow all the discharge regulations.